For pretty much my whole life, the word ‘love’ was a very awkward one for me.
I rarely said it to anyone… not even my parents.
When I think back to this struggle, I realized two reasons why…
- I never really understood it
- It made me feel vulnerable
What is love?
Now I know you’re probably tempted to bop your head and say “baby don’t hurt me.” I do it all the time!
But all jokes aside, what is it?
As I think back to my upbringing, love revolved around this idea of ‘MUST’.
Having to do it, or else *Insert fist shake*…
As a Catholic, you must love God.
As a child, you must love your parents.
To be a good person, you must love others.
Being a ‘rebel’ at heart, that started my shaky relationship with the word.
It was a demand, and I hated demands.
And so I said “F*ck love” for a long, long time.
Then — girl enters picture.
God knows what she saw in me, but she saw something.
And as she tried persistently to break down my walls, I found every way to build them up stronger.
I did everything to keep her out… to feel safe… until she finally couldn’t take it anymore.
She left. Cut me off for good.
BAM! Like a f*ckin Bruce Lee punch in the face (and the balls), you feel it.
The loss stripped me down to my core.
Ah, there it is — love is a feeling.
Not a rational idea, a feeling.
But man oh man, this feeling burns as hell and no way in hell I’m gonna let myself feel it again.
So I put a giant ‘Under Construction’ sign over my heart and start to build up an even better wall.
But this time, not even one Trump could afford.
This wall is the mecca of all walls.
Like I mean… Indestructible… unshakable… Common, I’m an engineer after all! lol
Sure, I may ‘love’ you because I know the idea exists, but never enough so that you can break me.
I will only love you as long as I know you love me… as long as I feel safe it’s reciprocated.
Why? Because then I know it won’t hurt. I know you won’t be able to put me back in that feeling I never swore I’d feel again.
Then — another girl enters picture.
Ok, seriously, is she blind?
“What on earth does she see in me!?!?” I ask myself (while my sister validates the confusion lol)
Whatever, I’ll go with it.
I’ll just always keep her far enough that I can’t get hurt.
This is fun!
Until it isn’t.
And as she loses her motivation to breakthrough my walls, she pulls back.
I start to break down.
This time though, I can’t fathom how the heck I’m gonna build up a stronger wall.
So I cling, kick, fight to convince her to reciprocate, until she stops… but with this girl, she doesn’t cut me off.
She just stops giving me what I want.
She’s there … right there… but there’s nothing I can say or do to keep her giving me the love I want to feel safe.
“BUT SHE MUST LOVE ME THE WAY I WANT!!!! THIS ISN’T FAIR!!!! I DON’T FEEL SAFE!!!” I yell, scream, shout…
Until finally, I realize what Usher was trying to tell me almost 15 years ago – You gotta let it burn.
And so I do.
Instead of building a wall to keep me away from the pain.. the hurt.. the burn…
I just let it burn.
Some days I thought my mind was literally viciously trying to attack me.
Many moment of it I wanted to quickly fill the gap. Find another girl quickly.
Get the reciprocation I wanted so I could feel safe again.
But for the Universe (or whatever you want to call it), it knows that’s not the lesson.
Not this time.
So I let it burn.
And as I do, that burn subsides.
I gain relief.
I gain clarity.
I rise above the pain, because I’ve felt it long enough that it no longer is perceived as pain.
It’s just a temporary sensation.
It’s just energy.
And as it burns, the energy releases.
And I stand at the verge of a realization that eluded me for so long….
Love is the safest thing there is when you realize that it’s the only thing there is.
And that any walls you think you’re creating to keep you safe, is actually tucking away this pain inside you.
Giving you the elusion everything is ok, but really, at the core of it, this energy needs an outlet at all costs.
And so dis-ease manifests. Until ‘light’ can be brought to the ‘darkness’ so the darkness can no longer prevail.
So then, what is love?
Ultimately, that’s up to each one to decide for themselves.
But as I travel along this journey in life, it’s become the one thing that can only make any sense – and that is, that it’s the only thing there is.
Anything else is but an illusion. A false sense of protection.
Anything you get in return from someone else is just feedback of how aligned with it you really are.
If someone can throw you off from ‘giving’ it, you haven’t really ‘gotten’ it.
If you truly have it, no reaction from another can prevent you from offering it.
Bright or dark emotions – it makes no difference.
You see beyond the illusion. You see their soul. Who they really are behind the walls they’ve built.
You see that they’re just as scared of the pain as you were, and now that you’ve let it burned through you, you are there to support them as they burn through theirs.
You start with the ones that mean something (including yourself), and expand outwards.
Learning to see in others what they fail to see in themselves… love itself. The outward expansion of the Universe. The big bang being repeated over and over again in every moent.
And the only way to truly understand all this is to break down the walls you’ve built.
To let it burn, let it go and let in the light.
Go ahead… open the curtains and see for yourself.